My initial reaction to “The Watch” was ‘meh’. But I’ve changed my mind. All in all, I think it was actually rather good. In this episode we get to know more about Jenny and Ian, understand the constant threat of capture that’s been hanging over Jamie’s head for years, and see Jenny and Claire bonding over childbirth and worry for their husbands. But most importantly, we see Jamie NOT come home. That last point sets up the rest of the series.
By the way, I read the other day that some of “The Watch” came from a companion novella Diana Gabaldon wrote, rather than from the book, which would explain why I don’t remember ever reading some bits. This made the episode feel fresh, new.
THINGS I LIKED IN ‘THE WATCH’:
- Jenny. She’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine. And, oh my goodness, that labor lasted for days! I could almost feel each contraction with her. She’s smart, feisty, courageous, and witty. In other words, I want her to be my friend!
- The scenes with the Watch. I almost put this in the ‘Not Like” column, but after thinking about it I can better appreciate why we had to see so much of them. They carried with them such a threat of violence it was almost palpable. This is what the Highlanders had to put up with if they wanted any protection against the British. This is what Jenny, Ian, and Jamie have had to put up with all their lives. And this could be a mortal danger to Jamie with the price on his head. I swear I could smell their stench. Kudos to the actors and the make-up and wardrobe people.
- Labor, Jenny and Claire scenes. Claire and Jenny are too similar to ever be BFF’s, but the scenes in this episode showed a growing respect for one another. I was thankful that Jamie and Ian were sent off with the Watch so that we could have time watching these two interact and bond. Also, we got some nice backstory about the Fraser family, especially Willie.
- I was surprised! Usually I don’t like it when the series writers change things up from the book, but this time I was happy to be surprised with how Jamie got caught by the British. I was waiting for that nasty McNab man to turn him over, and I actually prefer this version.
THE ONE THING I DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT THE WATCH:
- Jamie and Claire’s last scene together. It was FINE, but not great. Okay, I admit it, I would have liked some more melodrama, maybe more melodramatic, tension-filled music. Claire shows little emotion even though she knows her husband is going off to do a dangerous task—I would have liked seeing some concern in her eyes. Maybe a more emotional farewell. If I had never read the book the only clue I would have had that maybe they wouldn’t see each other for a while was that it went to slow motion as Jamie stepped away from Claire. Arggh.
And finally there’s this. Once again I find myself wondering about the development of Jamie’s character. I still don’t think the viewing audience has gotten so much as a glimpse of the Jamie the readers know from the books. Little has been done to develop the HERO character. The villain has been well developed. The heroine has been adequately developed. But I fear Jamie, AS A HERO has been woefully underdeveloped. There’s a reason why women readers all over the world are in love with Jamie Fraser. I doubt viewers who haven’t read the books are feeling that emotion.
Gird your loins for the upcoming episodes!